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Dozier intends to make a difference in the community

Lindsay Dozier’s passion to care for and give back to the community inspires her.

“I feel like my mission (in life) is to make difference in the community, especially the deaf and hard-of-hearing community,” said Dozier.

When Dozier was two months old, her parents learned that she was hard-of-hearing and immediately researched ways that the hearing loss would affect her ability to learn and communicate. “My mother took a sign language class so she could communicate with me better and my father insisted he would develop my remaining capacity to hear,” said Dozier.

With age, Dozier became more aware of her hearing challenge during her speech therapy courses. She said it took her a while to accept the challenge. Now at East Carolina University, Dozier works with others in the community to teach them more about the deaf culture and the basics of American Sign Language.

In an effort to learn more American Sign Language herself, Dozier completed the two courses offered at ECU and realized that others, including herself, wanted to continue learning sign language.

“I had heard there were a lot of students interested in sign language. Then I thought ‘Hey, why not have an organization,’” said Dozier.

Dozier and Hillary Pearce founded ECU’s Silent Pirates in August 2012. Since the group became a student organization, they have hosted signing socials and guest speakers to teach the basics of sign language. The organization aims to raise awareness and educate others about the deaf and hard-of-hearing culture and community.

During her time at ECU, Dozier has been involved in many different student organizations. She encourages other students to take advantage of the many organizations to meet different people and make friends.

Dozier said, “Being involved with different organizations at ECU has helped me network and learn my weakness and strengths.”

In the future Dozier aspires to be a pediatric physician assistant. She said she feels ECU has prepared her by having great professors and with the opportunity to study abroad in Switzerland.

Why did you choose ECU?
When I first came to ECU, I had no idea what to expect. But when I stepped on this campus, I fell in love. I got this feeling that I never got when I visited other college campuses. I loved the atmosphere and the school spirit. I knew I made the right decision coming here because I have great professors and have made life-long friends.

How has your ECU education prepared you for your future?
I have taken certain classes that helped me to think outside of the box and determine appropriate health education strategies. For example, I am currently taking community strategies, where I have done several group projects, such as a public service announcement, creating a poster for health fair booth and making a brochure for a certain health topic that applies to models and theories. I realized doing those projects will help in the long run because I can say that I have experience in developing and delivering health education presentations about different health topics.

What is your favorite memory at ECU?

I think it was my freshman year, at a football game played against NC State. It was 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter and we were tied or something. We scored an amazing touchdown and it was the best. The whole crowd went crazy and we were saying ‘Yeah, we did it!’ It was amazing to experience that school spirit we have and it was awesome. I will never forget it.

What did you enjoy most about your study abroad experience?
It gave me the chance to step outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to expand my horizons in a different culture. I gained so much knowledge about the history and the public health issues. We were able to visit six different cities. While we were in Geneva, we visited the World Health Organization, American Red Cross, and the United Nations. We had a fantastic opportunity to meet the U.S. Ambassador Betty King. It was a magical experience that I will never forget.

How did volunteering become a hobby?

I thought that it was very important for me to give back to the community and I loved to make difference growing up. Being a Girl Scout and involved in the church community, I realized that I am very blessed. I am thankful for what I have. Not a lot of people have what we are blessed to have, so I think it’s very important to give back to the community and make a difference.

Written by: Jamitress Bowden
Photography by: Cliff Hollis

"...I am very blessed. I am thankful for what I have. Not a lot of people have what we are blessed to have, so I think it’s very important to give back to the community and make a difference."

- Lindsay Dozier